Usually around this time of year we focus on gratitude and making gratitude lists in preparation for Thanksgiving. What if we adopted gratitude as a way of life instead of an occasional effort?
One of my favorite books about gratefulness is Kristi Nelson‘s book, Wake Up Grateful. According to Kristi, gratefulness does not only occur when something good happens, instead it is consistently being open to express gratitude in each moment. However gratitude is aligned with an event (eg., gratitude for waking up). Kristi reminds us that “when we feel grateful we are happier, healthier, kinder, more generous, more satisfied, and more resilient.” [Wake up Grateful, p. 12] Kristi also encourages us to see gratefulness as a way of being where we can place our attention and navigate life using gratitude as the guide.
Here are three ways you can start building a foundation for a life of gratefulness.
When you wake up: make a gratitude list part of your morning routine and notice what it feels like to sit with gratitude before you start your day
Before you eat: practice gratitude for the food, snack, drink you are about to consume. Consider how the earth’s resources were sourced in order to make your meal or drink possible. Think about the people involved in the production of your meal or drink
At bedtime: reflect on the day and express gratitude for the experiences throughout the day. Even when things seemed stressful, consider what personal growth you experienced and what you learned about yourself based on those experiences.
Gradually, you can increase the times you express gratitude throughout your day until it feels like a natural practice. As Kristi says, “no matter what you do to reminder yourself to take nothing for granted, how you arrive at openness for surprise, where you turn to notice beauty, or whom you choose to appreciate more fully – you are living gratefully.”
When do you practice gratitude?
How can you increase your moments of gratitude in each day?
~ Karisse C